iDigBio is enabling digitization of data from all U.S. biological collections and is integrating those data to make them broadly available and useful with shared standards and formats. Ultimately, ADBC is furthering the discovery and understanding of biological diversity, and iDigBio is engaging the research and collections communities in a spirit of collaboration in an effort to open biological research collections to new downstream user communities.
iDigBio involves the development of a permanent and powerful cloud computing infrastructure to link biological data from collections across the U.S. into a single unified web interface, overcoming the “data silos” that exist across the country. Search and analytical tools enable users to mine diverse data including taxonomy, geographic location, 2- and 3-dimensional images, vocalizations, and molecular resources tied to specimens in collections. These data promote integrative biological research on living and fossil species and provide an immense resource for agricultural science and land use management, human health, and assessing the impacts of climate change, invasive species, and other natural resource management issues.
Key partners in this effort are the Thematic Collections Networks (TCNs), which form a national grid of institutions that are digitizing specimens and associated resources. Integration with the greater community of biocollections resources, tools and organizations is critical to accomplishing the grand challenge of digitizing and integrating data from all U.S. collections, large and small. For more details regarding the larger community that encapsulates ADBC, please refer to the Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance (NIBA) strategic plan and implementation plan.